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Tech Industry

Week in review: Of Internet privacy and police

Survey finds that police want backdoor to ISP customer data, while the U.S. government worries about cyberattacks. Also: Toyota's electronic woes.

A paper warrant is nice for obtaining private Internet communications, but police want something a bit quicker.

Cybercrime investigators--frustrated by the speed of traditional methods of faxing, mailing, or e-mailing companies these documents--are pushing for the creation of a national Web interface linking police computers with those of Internet and e-mail providers so requests can be sent and received electronically.

CNET has reviewed a survey released at a federal task force meeting that says law enforcement agencies are virtually unanimous in calling for such an interface to be created. Eighty-nine percent of police surveyed, it says, want to be able to "exchange legal process requests and responses to legal process" through an encrypted, police-only "nationwide computer network."

Police survey provides glimpse of Net-surveillance figures

A relatively small group of 100 police working on Internet investigations reports submitting as many as 22,800 legal requests for information a year to Internet providers.
•  FBI wants records kept of Web sites visited
•  Mozilla weighs privacy warnings for Web pages
•  Report: Google, NSA talk defense partnership
•  Government warns of looming cyberthreats
•  U.S. House passes cybersecurity research bill
•  Billions to be spent on smart-grid cybersecurity

More headlines

Toyota's latest woes may be hard-wired

As the world's largest automaker recalls millions of cars to replace sticky accelerator pedals, safety questions arise related to car electronics.
•  Wozniak cites 'scary' Prius acceleration problem
•  A look inside a Toyota gas pedal

AT&T green-lights SlingPlayer on iPhone

After almost a year, the company is now allowing people to use the SlingPlayer app on the iPhone over its 3G wireless network.
•  Researcher warns of risks from rogue iPhone apps
•  Apple patch plugs iPhone, iPod Touch holes
•  Smartphone shipments hit record in 2009

Windows 7 market share tops 10 percent

The popular new operating system accounts for 1 in 10 computers accessing the Web, according to Net Applications.
•  Microsoft to patch 26 holes in Windows, Office
•  Tide turns against IE 6 as usage drops

Lawmakers grill execs over Comcast-NBC deal

U.S. senators and representatives hold hearings to question the executives of the cable giant and the media conglomerate about the proposed merger.
•  Could cable lose its grip on TV business?

Analyst: Apple will sell 8 million iPads by 2012

One industry analyst says Apple could sell 2 million iPads in 2010 and an additional six million in 2011.
•  Textbook publishers heading to iPad

'Avatar,' 'Star Trek,' 'District 9' get visual-effects Oscar nods

Although no one should be surprised about the three films that were nominated for visual effects, the folks behind '2012' are probably feeling pretty sore today.
•  'Avatar' Oscars could make Weta household name
•  Is 'Avatar' giving you the blues?

Cisco results signal economic recovery under way

John Chambers, CEO for the networking giant, said he saw positive results across the board and indicated the economic environment is improving globally.
•  Lenovo hits stride in third quarter
•  AOL beats Wall Street's low expectations
•  Sony sales, earnings bounce back
•  Comcast earnings ride broadband, voice subscriber gains

Google struggles with social skills

When it comes to social networking, Google has made one misstep after another. Now it's formed a 'Social Web Team' to try to straighten things out, once and for all.
•  New Facebook craze can violate terms of service
•  Social-networking spam hit business hard in '09
•  Blogging declines among teens, young adults
•  Study: Time spent on Web linked to depression

Also of note
•  Monster buys Yahoo's HotJobs for $225 million
•  Scientists discover dinosaur's true colors
•  6-year-old Holocaust victim has a Facebook page